The past week or so, I started letting my 2 month-old chickens out in the late afternoon. I'd keep an eye on them periodically, and then lock them back up at dusk. All of my predator problems have happened at around 5 a.m, with a less secure coop.... so while I was a little worried, I really thought they'd be okay. I was about to go out and put them in/lock them up and I heard a ruckus out there. I quickly put on some shoes, started yelling and ran back behind the house. I saw something moving in the brush near the shed, I heard some upset chickens. I did a quick head count and 4 were missing 3 pullets, and 1 cockerel. A few minutes later the roo showed up, I guess he had been hiding, but the pullets did not come back. . I looked and could not find them, or any sign of them for that matter. The shed is at the edge of the woods and I'm starting to think that the predator has taken up residence under it. Two of the hens that were taken were maran breed, my only ones. Odd, thing is they took only the 3 darkest colored birds. I have a variety of mixed breeds. I think I'll be setting that trap again soon! (I caught a couple of 'coons last fall.) Maybe we should get another dog. I never had problems like this when we had dogs. I know maybe I should just give up keeping chickens, but for over 10 years I never had problems like this. This just started last summer.